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exhaustion - Carers UK Forum


Tell us a bit about yourself here.
I think I just need somewhere to let off steam, and write how I feel, but if you have felt similar or want to reply thats fine with me. I just feel I've kept going and going, on adrenalin for at least 3 years, my caring roles have been very important to me, they have given me so much. I could say I loved caring for my mum, when she needed me in her last years, and now my dad, and partner. But probably I just stomach the difficulties too, and don't complain about them. Now I feel exhausted, and can't keep it up, and I sometimes really mind not having more of a life of my own. I need time off, but its hard not to feel selfish and guilty. I have been pleased and amazed to have stamina, but now its letting me down, and my heart body and soul somehow need recharging. I don't like that I get irritable with the people I care for when I am this tired, but it feels mean to tell them how I feel. I think I might feel better just having got this off my chest here, where you are all carers!
Hi Dishrag, welcome to the forum.
Yes, I know that feeling only too well! I call it the Clapped Out Carer Stage, when you've done too much for too long for too many people.
Do NOT ignore the messages your body is sending you. It's pleading for rest and relaxation, and YOU are the only one that can arrange that.
Tell us a bit more about who you are currently caring for, age, disability, relationship?
A bit more about you, age, and do you live with your carer?
When did your caree last have a Needs Assessment from Social Services?
When did you last have a Carers Assessment from them?

I'll be back later.
Dear Bowling Bun
Thank you!
My partner has secondary progressive MS. He likes to do things himself, but after 20 years since diagnosis that’s very gradually getting less and less possible. Interestingly it is just since for the first time we have a few hours a week help for him at home, when Im at work part time, that I feel collapsed! My dad lives about 1 1/2-2hours away. I organise all his care etc and spend one day a week with him. He is over 90, and needs 24 hr care .. does this answer ?
Put simply, you are doing too much!

Where amongst all this is there any time for you?! How old are you?

I'm now 67 and have had various operations, my energy level has nose dived in recent years.
As your husband and dad need more and more as they get older, you have progressively less energy to deal with it all.

Work is possibly an escape?

Is it realistic for dad still to be living alone at 90? 4 hours driving on top of being with him all day is really two working days in itself!
You are being very supportive, and yes you sound as if you've been there. I am nearly 64 now, and for the first time my own health is beginning to fail. I have rheumatoid arthritis, which has started to affect a hip, and so I'm on pain killers etc. I have always been able to rely on my health until now. I don't like having to do less for my dad, and letting others take over more, but I'm having to. You are right I am doing too much, its just hard to adjust to being older etc myself I guess
Hi dishrag it sounds like u av done a brilliant job supporting the people u love but u matter as well n u av got 2 keep well 2 carry on wot u r doing I agree with bowling bun that u need those assessments they may help u I’m a Carer 4 my mom n I know it’s a very hard job I wish u all the best xx
Until very recently, you would have retired at 60, a "pensioner" yourself.

You have nothing to feel guilty about. Dad is now paying the price for a long life, disability and infirmity at his great age are normal, and so is his need for increasing amounts of care. He needs "someone" to care for him but it does NOT have to be you!

Nothing will change unless you make it change. He probably doesn't realise how much you are doing for him - another trait of old age too, I'm afraid. So start by thinking about what you do that someone else could do just as well, cleaning, cooking, shopping etc.
Please feel proud of all you have done and are doing, not guilty about what you can't do. You sound like a lovely person. Please look after yourself too, it is really important. If someone is doing the physical care for Dad it frees up sometime to spend "nice" time with him, but this doesn't have to be a whole day a week at expense of time to yourself. Could you claw back half a day for yourself to do something that will unwind and relax you? Swimming might be good for your Rheumatoid Arthritis? Or just a regular coffee with a friend?
Thank you all for such helpful replies. I have been thinking about them. I lost my previous reply, so trying again. I love the title 'Clapped out Carer Syndrome', which definitely has been me.

I am trying to take your advice and thinking of more things that others could do instead of me. It is hard to get used to, and I still find myself doing things I could ask paid carers etc to do, but its a start.

Yes work is saving me from being even more overtaken by exhausting family caring, but you're right I do need to do something else thats for me. I do have ideas about what I'd like to do, but I have found it hard not to cancel my things.

And yes the long wait from 60 to 66yrs to state pension feels tough.

I did have a carers assessment several years ago. It was very helpful then, but even though things have changed a lot, I haven't bothered asking for another one, because I don't know what good it would do me? Some very nice supportive people at the carers centre used to do them, but now they are meant to be done by overworked social workers who seem keen not to do them!
ps yes swimming would be good..